Dating Venues: Marriage in the Religious-Zionist World, Part IV

This is the fourth part in a series on dating and marriage in the Israeli religious Zionist community:

Part I: Dating Readiness

Part II: Meeting the One

Part III: Genetic Testing

Part V: Shidduch Crisis?

VI: Internet Dating

VII: Paying the Shadchan, or Not

VIII: Wedding Costs

IX: Planning Tips

IMG_8201Part IV: Dating Venues

Part III of this series on marriage series was about genetic testing. Today I’d like information on a lighter topic.

Where do young couples go on dates? The younger ones, especially, are quite frugal and want to spend as little as possible. I have also heard of young men rejecting offers because the transportation would cost too much. Back when I was dating, we called this GU, or “geographically undesirable.”

Please share your experience in the comments.

If you enjoyed this post you may also like:

Ma, We Live in a Slum

A Mother in Israel’s Guide to Lice Removal

The Week of the Police Robots


  1. Back in my Bar Ilan days, ice cream was a popular date as were various events in the amphitheater for free.

    I’ve had first dates that have involved searching used bookstores. Many involve getting just a drink and then wandering around or sitting in a cafe for a while.

    A lot of the younger set can borrow Daddy’s car, though, and do, meaning that they can get coffee in another city if necessary.

  2. This depends…..

    If you are from town or from settlements
    If the boy is learning in a yeshiva or working

    (and if probably other things too)

    Some people just walk around town, or go to a park.

    The srugim series showed couples in Gan sacher in Jerusalem

  3. And the definition of GU changed based on many factors:

    1. How good looking the girl was described by the person setting you up (until you realize that they all “lie” and al taam vareach en lehitvakeach …)

    2. How much availability you had. If you had no dates for a few weeks, then 100 miles wasn’t too bad. But if you had 3 people setting you up each week, then 30 miles was too much.

    3. Where you lived. If you live in Podunk upstate NY, you *DID* drive down to the city for most of your dates. And if you lived OOT (way OOT), you literally would fly in for dates.

    Dating in Israel was an absolute pleasure compared to this. If in Yerushalaim where I lived, simply pick the girl up at home, and go somewhere in the center, or to an event nearby. Once in a while drive out to the Tel Aviv area for a promising prospect. Much less “G” involved.

  4. RaggedyMom says

    My first “date” with my husband after we met on our own and decided to go out, was to a used bookstore which for us was a great, interesting place with space to sit and talk and lots of potential conversation-starters. Afterward, we got coffee together. Walking around Manhattan was also something we did a lot, and in warmer weather, we went to parks constantly. I lived in Queens and he was in Washington Heights, and to his credit, he usually made the trek to see me. Otherwise, we met on more neutral turf in the more central parts of Manhattan. Most people I know who did their dating during their very early twenties dated very economically like this, both here in the states and in Israel.

    • RM: Yes, cheap dating does seem to be the norm in many circles. A used bookstore is a great idea. And if one of the couple doesn’t frugal dating, they may not be compatible anyway.

  5. Oh dear, one of the “you may also like this post” links is your guide to lice removal. I hope that’s no longer an issue by the time they’re dating, because I’ve already had quite enough lice and my kids are still many (many!) years away from dating LOL!

  6. Robin, I choose those posts by hand! Even people without kids have told me they liked that post.

  7. I know in Israel tiyulim are very popular for more “serious” dates. Also cheap.